Monday, 10 June 2019

Sleepy Heads

Sleepy Heads - Blyth Gallery, Level 5 Sherfield Building, Imperial College, Off Exhibition Road, London, SW7 2AZ
Opening Night 11 June 6.30 - 8.30, exhibition continues daily from 9am - 9pm until 11 July.

https://www.artrabbit.com/events/sleepy-heads

Sleepy Heads flyer image by Cathy Lomax.

Two of my works, join the other sleepers to add to the uneasy slumber.
The Way Home, is one of a series of paintings of the same name and is on loan of the collection of Robert Whytehead. The Electric Girls is a reconfiguration of a commission for Senate House Library made in response to research residency centred around the Harry Price Library of Magical Literature.

Artists: Rebecca Fortnum, Jane Hayes Greenwood, Aly Helyer,
Mindy Lee, Cathy Lomax, Alicia Reyes McNamara, Hannah Murgatroyd, Victoria Rance, Freddie Robins, Gabriela Schutz, Sarah Sparkes and Debra Swann
Curated by Mindy Lee with an introductory text by Alexandra Kokoli

Sleepy Heads explores the figure in relation to the unconscious, fantasies, masks, memories, dreams, autobiography, sleeping, sleepers, and death. This exhibition creates an intimate and unnerving dormitory of artworks.

Above the closed and fringéd lid
’Neath which thy slumb’ring soul lies hid,
That, o’er the floor and down the wall,
Like ghosts the shadows rise and fall!
Oh, lady dear, hast thou no fear?
Why and what art thou dreaming here?
Excerpt from The Sleeper by Edger Allen Poe

The Electric Girl - Trance Mediums, (detail) Sarah Sparkes, 2014 - 2019
 Bodies and reality are left behind, suspended as we journey inside our heads. Sleeping is a place for dreaming, a place to reinvent our experiences, where fantasies and nightmares roam free. The body’s unconscious vessel inhabits a space between the living and the dead. The head is a recognisable mask adrift from its personality. Those awake, await consciousness to return, to reanimate the gaze and connect.
Sleepy Heads explores the figure in relation to the unconscious, fantasies, masks, memories, dreams, autobiography, sleeping, sleepers, and death. This exhibition creates an intimate and unnerving dormitory of artworks.

Friday, 31 May 2019

New Doggerland


I'll be showing a new work,  'Heroes and Villains' at Lumen London as part of the inaugural exhibition for New Doggerland:
https://www.lumenstudios.co.uk/future-events/yd4xwr6pg7e569nf9syprhcpxf645y
This work represents the beginning of a larger work in development for future iterations of the New Doggerland project.
heroes and villains'Heroes and Villains' Sarah Sparkes 2019
We’re not searching for anything except people. We don’t need other worlds. We need mirrors.”
― Stanisław Lem

'Heros and Villains' Sarah Sparkes 2019After completing an MA in art Sarah Sparkes went on to study an archaeology diploma in the pre-history of southern Britain. For New Doggerland, Sparkes returns to her past research and assimilates this with themes from science fiction. She has imagined her work and New Doggerland as a manifestations from the sentient ocean in Stanislaw Lem's Solaris.

new doggerlandfuture imaginings of place and culture

Opening event: Thursday 30th May 6.30 - 8.30 pmFirst Thursdays late opening Thursday 6th June 6.30 - 9.00pmGallery Opening hours: Thursday to Sunday 12 - 6 pmExhibiting artists: Frances Burden |Deborah Gardner |Jane Millar | Sarah Sparkes'In a sense, if you're not getting it wrong really a lot when you're creating imaginary futures, then you're just not doing it enough. You're not creating enough imaginary futures.' William Gibson
New Doggerland is a new multi-disciplinary artists project for a future imagining of physical and cultural re-connection between Britain and the European mainland. Doggerland is the name given to the ancient landmass, now submerged, that once connected Britain to Northern Europe. What if a new land mass rises up and we become physically part of the mainland again?
New Doggerland is a project about future land and humans. It asks questions to which the exhibitors and participants will respond with different ideas and answers. Who will be living there and how? It may evoke a Ballardian dystopia, or ideas of possible Utopia. Or could New Doggerland be the heterotopia where we go to experience 'other' selves, a place of becoming?
About the artwork: featured works include textiles, sculpture, ceramics and installation. Frances Burden's stitched pieces and works on paper range from the uniformity of Orwell and Huxley to the wild Egyptian glamour of Earth Wind and Fire, to explore the common themes of future imagining the look of dress and costume. Her pieces here are a sample selection for the everyday and the ceremonial. Sculptor Deborah Gardner considers future shifting plant environments from the local to the alien and imaginary considerations of plants in space, partly inspired by recent images of NASA’s experiments with growing plants on space craft and science fiction visions of extra-terrestrial colonisation. Ceramic artist Jane Millar envisions a future crisis of lost knowledge. Her Orrery attempts a narration of origins and contingencies, while a Werkbund type traveller's display case of wave forms triggers unrecovered memories and soothes future human survivors' feelings of loss. Artist Sarah Sparkes followed her MA with studying for an archaeology diploma in the pre-history of southern Britain. Sparkes returns to her past research and assimilates this with themes from science fiction. She has imagined her work and New Doggerland as a manifestations from the sentient ocean in Stanislaw Lem's Solaris.
Lumen are an art collective focused on astronomy and light. St John on Bethnal Green is a grade 1 Listed Building designed by Sir John Soane, and was built between 1826 and 1828. The Lumen Crypt Gallery reflects Sir John Soane's attention to detail, boasting unique curved walls and egg shaped pods. https://www.lumenstudios.co.uk/gallery
'In a sense, if you're not getting it wrong really a lot when you're creating imaginary futures, then you're just not doing it enough. You're not creating enough imaginary futures.' William Gibson
New Doggerland is a new multi-disciplinary artists project for a future imagining of physical and cultural re-connection between Britain and the European mainland. Doggerland is the name given to the ancient landmass, now submerged, that once connected Britain to Northern Europe. What if a new land mass rises up and we become physically part of the mainland again?
New Doggerland is a project about future land and humans. It asks questions to which the exhibitors and participants will respond with different ideas and answers. Who will be living there and how? It may evoke a Ballardian dystopia, or ideas of possible Utopia. Or could New Doggerland be the heterotopia where we go to experience 'other' selves, a place of becoming?

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

The GHost Parlour - Solo Show at New Art Projects

Sarah Sparkes – The GHost Parlour
Thu 14 Mar 2019 - Sat 27 Apr 2019
 
British artist Sarah Sparkes has been working hard on a number of residencies and commissions, both Nationally and Internationally. This exhibition seeks to present these projects, alongside new works to create ‘A GHost Parlour’ for New Art Projects.
 
Sparkes sees the objects in the exhibition as containers and conduits for the embodiment of narratives and more conceptually ‘spirits’. Her subjects include: Janet the Enfield poltergeist girl, Native Americans Ghost-dancers, Neolithic monuments and artefacts and some key figures from early 20th century psychical research; all attempt(ed) to communicate with the dead.
 
Central to this project is ‘The GHost Tunnel’ installation, 2016-17, This major installation has toured to FACT and the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art and is presented here in all its mystery in London for the first time. The GHost Tunnel references portals, black holes and equates time travel with death as another dimension that we may enter.
 
Sarah Sparkes was recipient of the MERU ART SCIENCE AWARD and has entered GAMeC’s permanent collection and entered the archives of the Fondazione Meru and the Association Bergamo Scienza with her specially commissioned film ‘Time You Need’ 2015.
 
To compliment these extraordinary pieces Sparkes has created a series of new works ‘GHost -dance – David Soul’. Two rolls of wallpaper, remnants of those that graced the walls of Sparkes’ childhood bedroom and kitchen, have been used together with gouache paint, digital print collage and assemblages to make a series of intriguing works that cross the wall like shadows of the past.
 
 Sarah Sparkes is a London based artist and curator who exhibits widely in the UK and internationally. Her work ‘The GHost Formula’, 2016, commissioned by FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) recently toured to NTMoFA (National Taiwan Museum ofFine Arts) as part of the exhibition ‘No Such Thing As Gravity’ curated by Rob la Frenais. She was the 2015 recipient of the MERU ART*SCIENCE award with her film ‘Time You Need’ which has entered the collections of GAMeC Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo). In collaboration with Ian Thompson, she was awarded a funded BEYOND artist residency at Allenheads Contemporary Arts, Northumberland 2018. She exhibits with New Art Projects London.
 
Sparkes’ work explores magical or mythical narratives, vernacular belief systems and the visualisation of anomalous phenomena. Her work is often research led and an exploration into the borderlands where science and magic intersect. She works with installation, sculpture, painting, performance and more recently film. She leads the visual arts and creative research project GHost, initiated 2008, consists of an on-going programme of exhibitions, performances and interdisciplinary seminars interrogating the idea of the ghost. GHost events have been supported by Folkestone Biennial, University of the Arts, University of London, FACT, NTMoFA and Arts Council of England – in 2016/17 Sparkes was awarded Arts Council funding for her project to archive Liverpool ghost stories. She recently co-curated ‘the Ghost Tide’ exhibition at Thames-side Studios Gallery with Monika Bobinska of CANAL Prjects. Sparkes has published chapters on the GHost project and has lectured extensively on this subject.
 
Image: Sarah Sparkes The GHost Tunnel 2016, sculpture, 90 x 90 x 53 cms